The Buffalo Bills are now 1-1 after yesterday's exciting, last-minute 24-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers. I imagine that when Brendan Harrington, Matt Warren and I record the next episode of the Buffalo Rumblings Podcast tonight, we'll be in fairly good spirits recapping the win and looking ahead to Week 3.
As usual, we're looking for your feedback to feature in the podcast in our usual post-game awards post. Unlike last week, when we were sifting through a gut-wrenching defeat, these awards won't feel forced this week - and all of them will be deserved.
Offensive Player of the Game
C.J. Spiller is back on track (16 carries, 103 yards). Fred Jackson (63 yards and a touchdown on 16 touches) made some incredibly savvy veteran plays throughout the game. Stevie Johnson had a very good game (eight receptions, 111 yards, one touchdown), and obviously hauled in the game-winning score. And yeah, there may be a good argument to make on behalf of EJ Manuel (27-39, 296 yards, one touchdown, two turnovers), who orchestrated the game-winning drive.
Defensive Player of the Game
For a second straight week, the Bills held an offense operated by a talented quarterback largely in check for four quarters. More to the point, this defense forced three Panthers field goals in the fourth quarter, which is the only reason the team was in position to make their last-ditch drive effort to begin with. Maybe you want to give out a game ball to the whole unit; it'd be completely fair to single out Mario Williams (a single-game franchise record 4.5 sacks) or Kiko Alonso (10 tackles, one sack, one interception), too.
Turning Point of the Game
At what point did you feel that the flow of the game shifted in Buffalo's favor? We imagine we'll be reading a lot of replies pointing to the Luke Kuechly pass interference call on Johnson here - or perhaps just the final touchdown - but there may be an argument to make for some of those earlier defensive stops holding Carolina to three points, no?
Note that we're not doing a Goat of the Game this week, because the Bills won the contest, and we have no desire to be buzz killers. Let's hear your feedback, friends!